Event preview: The Hukilau 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, June 5-9

The Hukilau returns for its 18th annual Tiki weekender in June, serving up five days of immersive rum-fueled experiences at the Pier 66 Hotel & Marina and The Mai-Kai restaurant, both 62-year-old landmarks in sunny Fort Lauderdale.

The Hukilau 2019Organizers made the first official announcement of 2019 on New Years’ Day, promising the return of all the hallmarks that make the event one of the Tiki revival’s top summer destinations. Tickets and hotel rooms will not go on sale until Feb. 1, but more details are due to be released throughout the month.

It will be the fifth straight year that The Hukilau has pitched its tent at Pier 66, and the 17th year at the legendary Mai-Kai. (The Hukilau launched in 2002 in Atlanta before migrating south to Florida the next year.) Below you’ll find all the news from the initial communiqué, embellished with some of our favorite photos from last year’s festivities to whet your appetite. Stay tuned for future updates on The Atomic Grog.

The Hukilau official sites
* TheHukilau.com | Facebook: Page and Group | Twitter | Instagram

THE HUKILAU 2019: Official announcement
June 5-9 at Pier 66 Hotel & Marina and The Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale.

Tickets and hotel rooms go on sale Feb. 1. Look for more details throughout January.

What can you look forward to in 2019? The same things you love:

* Rooms and events at Pier 66 (plus B Ocean Resort)
The views of Fort Lauderdale from the 17th floor ballroom at Pier 66 are stunning. (Photo by Chris Kridler) The views of Fort Lauderdale from the 17th floor ballroom at Pier 66 are stunning. (Photo by Chris Kridler)

* Same Wednesday through Sunday schedule
Guest bartenders at Thursday's Tiki Tower Takeover included cocktail legend Brother Cleve (left) and Doc Parks of Pagan Idol and Zombie Village. (Photo by Heather McKean) Guest bartenders at Thursday’s Tiki Tower Takeover included cocktail legend Brother Cleve (left) and Doc Parks of Pagan Idol and Zombie Village. (Photo by Heather McKean)

* Tiki Treasures Bazaar
Vendors come from far and wide to The Hukilau. (Photo by Hukilau Mike) Vendors come from far and wide to The Hukilau. (Photo by Hukilau Mike)
* More photos from Hukilau Mike

* Tiki Tower Takeover (Thursday)
Italy’s Daniele Dalla Pola (Nu Lounge Bar) always puts on a show. (Photo by Chris Kridler) Italy’s Daniele Dalla Pola (Nu Lounge Bar) always puts on a show. (Photo by Chris Kridler)

* High Tide Party (Friday night)
Hukilau veterans The Intoxicators from Tallahassee will return in 2019. (Atomic Grog photo) Hukilau veterans The Intoxicators from Tallahassee will return in 2019. (Atomic Grog photo)

* The Mai-Kai party (Saturday night)
The Polynesian Islander Revue, the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States, including Hawaii. (Atomic Grog photo) The Polynesian Islander Revue, the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States, including Hawaii. (Atomic Grog photo)

* Pool parties (Friday and Saturday)
Villagers cool off at Pier 66 during the Rum Island Pool Party. (Photo by Heather McKean) Villagers cool off at Pier 66 during the Rum Island Pool Party. (Photo by Heather McKean)

* Full schedule of symposiums and classes
Global rum ambassadorIan Burrell presents a symposium on his favorite spirit. (Photo by Chris Kridler) Global rum ambassador Ian Burrell presents a symposium on his favorite spirit. (Photo by Chris Kridler)

* Guest bars: All of your favorites from 2018
The crew from Delray Beach's Death Or Glory serve up signature drinks during a pool party. (Atomic Grog photo) The crew from Delray Beach’s Death Or Glory serve up signature drinks during a pool party. (Atomic Grog photo)

* Amazing musical lineup
Los Straitjackets perform in the Tahiti Room at The Mai-Kai. (Atomic Grog photo) Los Straitjackets perform in the Tahiti Room at The Mai-Kai. (Atomic Grog photo)

* Mermaids and burlesque
Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid joins The Disasternauts on stage. (Photo by Heather McKean) Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid joins The Disasternauts on stage. (Photo by Heather McKean)
* More official Hukilau photos from Heather McKean

* Pass prices stay the same! 2018 prices locked in if purchased in February
You can't beat the view, or the cocktails, in the penthouse ballroom at Pier 66. (Photo by Joanne Galka) You can’t beat the view, or the cocktails, in the penthouse ballroom at Pier 66. (Photo by Joanne Galka)

What’s new or different for 2019?

* Sustainability: As we grow, so does our mindfulness to reduce waste.

* Sunday pool party: Stick around and help us welcome Tiki-locals that couldn’t join us during the work week.

* More guest bars: Yes, really! We’re expanding from 12 to 18 or more from around the U.S. and Europe.

* Live music poolside: Lounge, tan, sip, and watch The Intoxicators (and others) perform live.

* More vendors at the Tiki Treasures Bazaar.

* Tiki Truck Stop: More food trucks and more hours for Thursday and Friday nights.

* More fun and more aloha!

Hurricane Hayward presents How to Mix Like The Mai-Kai, a sold-out Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy class. (Atomic Grog photo) Hurricane Hayward presents “How to Mix Like The Mai-Kai,” a sold-out Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy class. (Atomic Grog photo)
Photo galleries: Facebook | Flickr

PLUS: Some special new additions! (Details to be released in the next few weeks).

The Hukilau past coverage
* 2018 recap: Photos and video from social media | More 2018 coverage
* 2017 daily recaps, news, photos and video | More 2017 coverage
* More past coverage: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
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